(Fort Washakie, WY) — The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the 25 towns and tribal communities participating in this year’s Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ (CIRD), continuing the agency’s longstanding commitment to rural America. Working with communities with populations of 50,000 or less, this national initiative has two primary components: local design workshops and a design learning cohort. This year CIRD will support eight workshops across the country, twice the number of workshops funded in previous years. The members of the peer learning cohort come from 17 communities as geographically diverse as Dalhart, Texas, and Ellsworth, Maine.
“I am thrilled that the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design is able to extend its reach to more rural populations this year by supporting additional workshops,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “These activities exemplify how communities can come together to leverage design, enhancing quality of life, economic vitality, and civic infrastructure.”
With guidance from a range of design, planning, and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops convene local residents and leaders from nonprofits, community organizations, and government to explore design ideas to revitalize their communities. The eight workshop communities will also participate in the design learning cohort, where they will receive training in rural design and creative placemaking, coaching on facilitation techniques, assistance navigating funding opportunities, and one-on-one technical assistance on their community design project.
“The Housing Assistance Council is delighted to further strengthen and broaden the reach of its partnership with the National Endowment for The Arts around the shared goal of enhancing the quality of life and economic viability of communities”, said David Lipsetz, CEO, of the Housing Assistance Council. “Paramount to placemaking, the resident-led approach cultivates a sense of ownership and fosters strong community bonds—critical components that interweave the vibrant tapestry of rural communities and small towns across rural America.”
The multi-day design workshops in the eight selected communities will offer hybrid in-person and virtual sessions. The workshop communities will also receive a design book that contains the design concepts and suggested resources from their workshop, as well as support through webinars, web-based resources, and customized follow-up support after the workshop. Dates for each workshop and members of the resource team are forthcoming. Design assistance will be provided to the following workshop communities:
Ft. Washakie, Wyoming (population 1,732): The Eastern Shoshone Tribe on the Wind River Reservation is planning for the construction of a new facility that can house the Tribe’s Cultural Center and Museum and also be a repository for the Tribal Historic Preservation Office and the Tribal Archives. CIRD’s design concepts for the building will tie together the tribe’s many cultural assets and ensure there is adequate space, equipment, supplies, and climate controls to preserve and share ancestral collections with the broader community.
Click here to view the entire list of communities.